A number of Kiwis deported from Australia for past crimes have since offended here, and one man is known to be wanted by police.

As Canberra ramps up deportations under its tough new stance on non-Australian criminals, the Herald has learned of cases where deportees sent home in the past few months have been in trouble with the law.

Many of those sent back had lived most of their lives across the Ditch and have few or no support networks in New Zealand. They include Patrick Sylva, aged in his mid-20s, who moved to Australia and lived with his father when he was aged about 4. He is now wanted by the police here.

His Auckland-based mother, Collette Paniora, said he had lived rough in Sydney after committing crimes and spent about two weeks in detention before he was deported in July.

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Ms Paniora let him live in her Manurewa home and enrolled him in a literacy course after he told her he didn't know how to read or write.

But she said he was struggling with mental health issues and she kicked him out due to his volatile behaviour around vulnerable family members, including her young children.

She said she had taken a protection order out against him.

"He had a good home. I've tried my darned best," Ms Paniora said.

"I've sacrificed a lot for Patrick but I do understand he's got a mental health issue."

She said she was worried for his safety after recent attempts to contact him failed. "We knew he was being deported but didn't know when and he turned up here without my knowledge and now he has been missing for under a month."

She said the authorities gave him $200 when he returned, then left him on his own.

"But he spent that in the first night. It was gone; he drank it all away."

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Police have not said why they are looking for Sylva.

Ms Paniora said she feared for how other families were going to cope when a relative unexpectedly turned up. "The families are going to suffer."

A police spokesman said "a number" of deportees had been arrested since their return from Australia and some matters were still before the courts.

A warrant was out for Sylva's arrest, and efforts to locate him were ongoing.

Police said they were unable to say exactly how many people sent back from Australia had been before the courts for offending here since.

Kiwi deportees from Australia

December 2014: Australian Government makes law change to Australian Migration Act
November 9: Riots at Christmas Island detention centre involving deportees, including Kiwis
November 18: New Zealand Parliament urgently passes law change to allow for deportees to be monitored as if they had served time here
November 19: First batch of deportees from Christmas Island arrive under new law
November 25: Labour leader Andrew Little appears in front of two Australian select committees to highlight the lack of rights for Kiwis
November 26: Second batch of deportees arrive, with more to arrive over the week. Little visits Villawood Immigration Detention Centre, where more than 60 New Zealanders were being held